8 Jul 2012

Libyan election has 60% turnout

9:39 pm on 8 July 2012

The electoral commission in Libya says there was a 60% turnout on Saturday in the first national election since the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Polls are now closed. Around 2.9 million people were eligible to vote for a temporary assembly which will have the task of picking a cabinet and a prime minister.

Voting was disrupted by unrest in some areas, particularly the east. Officials say 101 polling stations were unable to open.

Polling stations opened at 8am on Saturday and began closing at 6pm in Tripoli and Benghazi, as scheduled.

Election commission head Nuri al-Abbar said that 94% of polling stations across the country opened normally.

The BBC reports eastern Libya is allotted only 60 seats in the 200-seat assembly, while the west will have 100 seats and the south 40.

Election officials acknowledged that the election was imperfect.

The last national election was in 1965. No political parties were allowed. Colonel Gaddafi came to power in 1969.